#2. Mary Mallon -- The Human Plague
Mary Mallon, aka "Typhoid Mary," has to hold the all-time record for most accidental killings, though there does come a point where the woman deserves a least a little bit of the blame.
Mallon was born on September 23, 1869 in Ireland and immigrated to the United States at the age of 15 to eke out a living as a domestic servant, because that's the American dream. She found she had a talent for cooking, presumably because there is literally nothing else to do in Ireland, which allowed her to make a decent living among the upper class of the New York area.
That's her on the right at the ripe old age of 15.
In 1900 she found herself in the employ of a household in Mamaroneck, but after only two weeks all of the residents had developed a serious illness. Mary moved to Manhattan and took a job with another wealthy family, again as the cook. Soon after securing her position, several family members started to develop fevers and diarrhea, and one of her fellow workers died. Mary took yet another cooking job at the home of a rich lawyer, and not much time had passed before seven of the eight members of the family were stricken with disease.
We're sure at this point you're sensing a pattern, and evidently so did the New York Board of Health. Dr. Sara Josephine Baker responded to investigate, but Mary refused to hear any talk of her possible link to the sickness and death that seemed to follow her around. A disease researcher, George Soper, approached Mary and asked her to provide urine and fecal samples, but he too was rebuffed, as are most strange men who ask women for souvenirs of their bodily functions.
Via Wikimedia Commons
This is Mary in the hospital, along with what appears to be several of her clones.
As it turns out, Mary was crawling with Salmonella typhi bacilli, or typhoid fever, acting as a carrier without showing any symptoms herself. She refused to believe she was the root of all the illness around her, and would even assist in caring for the bedridden accidental typhoid victims, which of course just added to the problem.
Mary was forcibly placed into quarantine at an island clinic, languishing away until 1910, when the new New York State Commissioner of Health decided that keeping disease carriers in forced isolation was cruel, whereupon Mary was given a choice. The authorities told Mary that she was free to leave on one condition -- that she would no longer work in the culinary field. Mary agreed and rejoined society, a phrase which here means "she took a job as a cook, in a fucking hospital."
"Hey, Mary, remember that quiet little cabin you used to pretend that you hated?"
When 25 people came down with typhoid fever after they'd come to the hospital for treatment of other ailments, Typhoid Mary was again taken into custody and sent back to her island quarantine, where she spent the remainder of her life. Reporters and researchers would occasionally drop by the island to interview her, but nobody challenged her with the most important question: Since Salmonella typhi is found in human urine and feces, what the hell was going on in Mary Mallon's kitchen, and why was her cooking so popular among the New York elite?
#1. Souflikar -- The "Hands-On" Executioner
How does a single man manage to kill 5,000 people without the aid of any weapons of mass destruction? Ask Souflikar.
Souflikar was the personal executioner for Mahomet IV, plying his trade during the time of the Ottoman Empire. This driven professional killed an average of three people a day over five years, until he wound up with 5,000 bodies to his name. A number that is about to become way, way more horrifying once you hear how he did it.
Was it a machine gun? It was a machine gun, wasn't it?
Souflikar didn't mess around with nooses or axes or any of that bullshit. He strangled his victims to death with his bare goddamned hands. Not necessarily an unfair man, Souflikar offered his prey a sporting chance. The condemned were challenged to a race through the royal gardens to the place of execution. If they won, they were offered the reprieve of banishment. But if Souflikar won, he choked their immortal souls right out of their bodies.
There's a video game coming, just as soon as Intel gets Choke-O-Vision working.
You would think this process would do nothing more than create a race of super-fast murderers via natural selection, but apparently Souflikar just didn't lose. Unless Mahomet IV made having heel spurs or morbid obesity a capital offense, Souflikar's athletic prowess must have been incredible. His murder-aculous talent is even more amazing when you consider that he didn't even hold the title of royal executioner. No, his official title was "royal gardener."
For more modern psycho killers, check out 5 Horrific Serial Killers (Who Are Free Right Now) and The 5 Creepiest Serial Killers (Who Were Animals).
And stop by LinkSTORM to learn how to meet your serial killer soulmate.
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